Hot Chicks, Cold Ice

12Mar09

Hello darlings! Here is the piece that I just finished reading. It’s hyper-feminist, and may make me seem like a hypocrite, but it’s just a story with my opinions.

I never thought I’d be one of “those” girls. The girls in bikinis who are airbrushed to oblivion, sport stage-worthy loads of makeup and have a Budweiser in their hands. These advertisements are everywhere, from the walls of Pawpurr’s to the pages of Men’s Health. The beer babes and sports car bimbos have never made much sense to me. How in the world do advertising people (assumedly men) think that nothing goes with a cold brewskie quite like a nearly naked, large-breasted, tiny-waisted bombshell? And what kind of logical sense does it make to have a leggy chick in booty shorts straddle a sports car in order to promote a product? Oh, that’s right. Sexual objectification actually works! It will grab the attention of men, and that’s all we really care about, isn’t it?
Ads such as the aforementioned have done nothing but infuriate me to the point of looking down upon whoever is modeling in the ad. That was until I landed a modeling job that had me in the same position: nearly nude and promoting a product that had nothing to do with swimwear.
As a sometimes model, I am eager to take any job I’m offered. Normally it means posing for mundane catalogue work that shows only my body. It’s tiring work, but it’s great pay for standing in front of a camera for a few hours. However, when I received an e-mail from my agency about a different type of shoot, I was hesitant at first. The job was for Avalanche Ice, a company based in Cincinnati. The idea was to have girls in bikinis posing with the ice, for the company wanted to create a new image for Avalanche. They wanted it to be recognized as the party, anytime ice. Eventually the owner hoped to create a new website, billboards and trucks with these pictures plastered over them. While this would be great exposure, the job was unpaid. Sometimes the modeling industry doesn’t make sense at all. If anything, I should have been paid double for standing in a bikini all day. However, I decided this shoot couldn’t hurt, and I agreed to do it.
The thought of being in a bikini in front of a camera is more than a bit daunting—it’s terrifying. I’m certainly comfortable with my body, but irrational thoughts come to mind in the days leading up to the shoot. “I can’t eat this because it will make me bloated. I have to work out for this long this many times before the shoot. I have to carefully shave everything and be sure to not get any scrapes, cuts or bruises.” It is a heightened sense of awareness of your body, and it’s incredibly consuming. This consumption alone has made me realize that bikini modeling may not be my thing.
As I walked into the shoot, there were three other models there as well. We arrived with clean, make-up free faces that were quickly painted with gobs of concealer, foundation, eyeliner and shadow. The next step: the owner of the company (male) and the photographer (male) wanted to see us in our bikinis. I’ve never felt more self conscious than when I walked out of the bathroom and in front of the men. Knowing that their eyes were examining my body more closely than I ever have made me unbelievably uncomfortable. They weren’t saying anything, they weren’t getting closer, they merely were looking. It was at this point the owner told us his brilliant concept behind the advertisement: “hot chicks with cold ice. Who wouldn’t want that?” Well why aren’t there hot guys, too?
It was difficult not to laugh in his face out of his stupidity and ignorance. He cannot help it; he’s just a guy. He’s just a guy like all the other guys who will be drawn to the truck with pictures of girls in bikinis on a sled plastered to the side, or the website with our bodies spelling out the word “ice.” During the entirety of the photo shoot, not only was I freezing, hungry and tired of sucking in and flexing my stomach, I couldn’t help but become a bit angry with myself. Why had I agreed to do something I find ludicrous? And for no money! I grew angrier with each new pose, new scarf and earmuffs thrown on (ya know, because it totally makes sense to wear a scarf and a bikini), new ridiculous set up. The real trigger to my internal avalanche of anger came at the end of the six-hour shoot. The owner wanted a picture with all the models. Still in our bikinis, we clung to his sides in a line and posed as though we were on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I distinctly recall laughing to myself while looking at the digital pictures on the photographer’s camera. At that point, what else could I do?
I don’t regret my decision to be one of “those” girls. Of course, I think I was slightly naïve to think that posing for this small ice company would help me gain exposure, and therefore modeling jobs. What resonates within me today is the feeling of being looked at as though I were a zoo animal; a tall, blonde, hairless-everywhere-else mammal with mammary glands and a flat stomach. That’s all the owner and photographer saw. They didn’t see me for my Dean’s list-making GPA. They didn’t see me for my wit or ability to have a stimulating conversation. They saw me for my body. And they saw nearly all of it.
I can’t say that I’ll never pose in a bikini again. If SI comes knocking, offering me money, I’m right there (I DO have students loans to pay off). I can say, however, that I’ve learned what is rewarding to me and what isn’t. I’d much rather pose all day for catalogue work for $25/hour, where they don’t picture my face and only display my clothed body than pose nearly nude for free in front of two men who don’t think twice about featuring hot guys as well as hot girls with their cold ice. It’s not just the money, it’s the thought and consideration.
Perhaps the most valuable thing I took from this experience is the lesson that I need to not judge the women in the booby beer ads. Yes, they agreed to do it (and probably for money), but no, they didn’t come up with the concept. The poses and the models aren’t what need to change. It’s whoever is sitting in the advertising agency’s office who need to evolve their thinking. Let’s move out of an advertising era with sexual objectification ideas as old as the ice age, and into an era that honors equality in this century. I want brawny beer guys, and more personally, I want hot guys with my cold ice.

That’s all, folks! Feel free to comment as you wish. I’ll be back later with a food-related post 🙂

Kailey

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16 Responses to “Hot Chicks, Cold Ice”

  1. i can relate… not because im a model! i worked as a bartender for a year and it was sometimes the most degarding experience of my life because i knew i made money based upon my appearance and shameless flirting. i had swore i would never be “that” bartender but the truth is tha tyou made loads more cash if you show a little boob. its kind of all a means to an end, and we all have to draw the line somewhere (like stripping! LOL).

  2. You’re so right! Those girls are just agreeing to a job. The real culprits are the advertisers… and the MEN who oogle the women!

  3. This is a wonderfully written post and I love that you send out such a great message – even models are self-conscious of their bodies. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that scrutiny and uncomfortable-ness, but “some” good came out of it! It made you realize so much stuff about yourself and what you’d want to do with your modeling career. It made ME think about how judgemental other people can be of me, and how THAT REALLY DOESN”T MATTER. The important thing is that YOU feel comfortable and safe. Thank you for posting this entry, I love it. 🙂

    I also just saw your “about” page and i LOVE the gorgeous photos you have up!!!!!!!!! You’re beautiful!!

    • 4 snackface

      Luckytastebuds- Awww thank you!! You’re too sweet. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post!

  4. wow wonderful article 🙂 i love your writing style, your really talented hun!
    xxxx

  5. I am beginning to feel that the entire self-esteem issue plaguing the general public is perpetuated purely by men If I look at the TV, there is a half naked woman pushing me to run out and buy the new lightest-beer-ever because it will make the bikini-clad ones want me! The advertiser apparently presumes that I am a drooling, brainless, credit card toting idiot driven by a raging erection and a deep seeded longing for a half naked woman to ogle me. That doesn’t work, sorry ol’ buddy ol’ pal. Back to my point, I believe this perfect body image is pushed by the insecure men of this country. They want us all to be these cookie cutter shapes, staring at an action movie, a professional wrestling show or even into a comic book we are fed ideals telling us what we should be. So rather than merely coping with their imagined inadequacies these men push their convoluted images of their perceived perfection upon us all, making woman and men feel as though they are flawed and should buy this product. If I buy Avalanche Ice, the bikini goddess will bless me with women sprouting in my living room…awesome. I am not good enough on my own to get these women so I might as well buy that damn ice, this way I can at least talk to a woman. I loved this post. – Ryan

    • 7 snackface

      Ahh Ryan!! Are you the blogspotter I just met at Jackie O’s? Haha, thank you for reading and liking this post!

  6. Well written and well thought out, Kailey. It goes to show that there is often great depth, if not simply human emotion and feelings behind those “women in the booby beer ads.”

    How did your reading go? I can only imagine how powerful it would be to hear you read this, and how moving it must have been for you to deliver it.

    • 9 snackface

      Hey Sarah (lovinmytum)! The reading went really well. It was a small group of women and one man (haha) and everyone responded well. It created great conversation about the advertising we’re bombarded by, and how tons of ads feature nearly naked women promoting all sorts of products. I loved reading it aloud because it’s rare one gets a chance to deliver a piece the way it sounds in the writer’s head. And thank you for enjoying it!

  7. Your writing is IMPECCABLE, girl!!

  8. 11 janine

    This has nothing to do with your post but I was just wondering how you make your tempeh? I recently bought some but is it already pre-cooked? I have no idea what to do with it!

    • 12 snackface

      Hey Janine! Sometimes I eat it plain, raw, cold out of the package. You don’t have to heat it or cook it at all! But sometimes I put it in the oven for a while, just plain, for 20 minutes total at 450*, flipping halfway in-between. This makes it crunchy on the outside, warm and crumbly on the inside!

  9. Very interesting post! I totally agree with what you had to say! So True, True, True!

  10. Yes, I am the blogspotter you met at Jackie O’s! Now I have to prepare for my Spanish oral. Boo!

  11. Dahhh-ling this post was fabulous!! We watched a movie in one of my Psych classes last semester kind of along the same lines – women being objectified as sex objects in ads. You’re totally right in that we can’t judge the woman who are in the ads and it’s the ad executives who have to change! Unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon but I’m glad I had the chance to read your side of the story based on your experiences!

  12. This was such a great post! You are certainly a great writer and super inspiring. It was very interesting to read and, while I found myself agreeing with you at the beginning of the piece, I also felt myself agreeing with you EVEN MORE SO at the end when I realized I am in no place to judge the women in the ads. You are gorgeous, but more importantly, so intelligent, and I feel privileged that I was able to read your side of the story. Thank you!


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